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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 30, 2013 - 11:50 am

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) countered President Obama’s assertion that he’s “not familiar” with Benghazi whistleblowers being blocked from testifying by noting four letters sent to the administration since mid-April asking that information be made available to the whistleblowers’ laywers.

“I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying,” Obama told a reporter at today’s press conference. “So what I’ll do is I will find out what exactly you are referring to.”

“A lawyer for Benghazi whistleblowers has publicly stated that the State Department is blocking her client’s ability to talk freely with counsel,” Issa said in a statement afterward. “Over the past two weeks, I have sent four letters requesting that this administration make information available about how lawyers – who already have security clearances and are representing Benghazi whistleblowers – can be cleared to fully hear their clients’ stories. I have yet to receive any response from the Obama administration.”

“Even if the president really doesn’t know anything about someone wanting to come forward, his position should be that whistleblowers deserve protection and that anyone who has different information about Benghazi is free to come forward to Congress,” the chairman added. “The president’s unwillingness to commit himself to protecting whistleblowers only aids those in his administration who are intimidating them.”

Issa sent letters on April 16 to the Defense Department, State Department and CIA, and another letter to the State Department on April 26.

After Obama’s press conference, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) renewed their call for Senate leadership to appoint a joint select committee to investigate the Benghazi attack and the administration’s role.

“Revelations about witnesses being afraid to testify and military assets that could have been deployed in a timely fashion justify appointing a joint select committee,” the senators said in a joint statement.

“In light of these new revelations it is imperative that we learn everything we can from what happened before, during and after the attacks. We cannot allow those who serve our nation to feel abandoned when under attack, or by Congress afterwards… As with any investigation, the longer we delay, the harder it is to find the truth. We have already waited too long.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (4)
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Oooops! How did I initially miss where Issa reveals to whom he actuallty sent the letters too when referring to "this administration."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I have sent four letters requesting that this *administration* make information available about how lawyers –"

Unless they used the protocol of sending letters to the 'president' all those letters were probably directed to DOJ or maybe DOS and CIA by the Chief of Staff -- or, Issa. Regardless, the DOJ represents every 'administration' in such legal jockeying.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why would ObamaRx want to protect whistleblowers? Chances are if the real story comes out he was involved up to his eyeballs and made the final decision to let those poor people swing in the wind to protect his political backside.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
4 letters, huh? What makes you think Obama pays any attention to letters from Republicans? And it's not like those Departments will actually bother Obama with such day-to-day details. I mean, have you SEEN Obama's schedule? The guy hardly does any work at all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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